Matilda recently hosted a lunch party at home for Carrière Frères, planning ahead with wishful thinking for a sun-dappled June day in the garden. Inevitably the grey skies of a British summer started appearing and she quickly realised a last minute move indoors was needed… Here are some handy tips for hosting on the fly, and Matilda's favourite 'any weather' pieces.
The Great British
Never let rain get in the way of a good time - stocking a few last-minute saviours in a cupboard or garden shed can save the day. A parasol is great come rain or shine; foldable tables help when moving through tricky doorways; it sounds simple but having a load of spare tea towels to wipe surfaces down saves a headache. Bring the outside in. Old terracotta pots or planters look smart atop an indoor table: an added plus is that you can keep anything you plant up, rather than using cut flowers with a shorter life span.
Food and drinks
Rain or not, keep your cool with an ice bucket on hand for drinks; an outside bar under an umbrella is a great way to make sure guests aren't all crammed inside. If you're anticipating a colder night, a firepit with cushion-topped seating and throws to hand makes such a difference - plus s'mores always go down a treat... Prepare food that doesn't hinge on the weather - a rainy barbecue can look a bit on the sad side... Fresh, bright ingredients bring the sun in - for this event we had the brilliant Johnnie Collins creating a vegetarian menu picked fresh from the garden.
Set the Scene
with pools of lights
Lighting creates a lovely atmosphere if you're suddenly moved indoors - think candles lined along tables and lamps on sideboards for a cosy feel. If you have an umbrella up, hang festoon lights from it to create an inviting outside space.